Sensemaking: mapping the terrain with one twist

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 16, 2005
Filed in Communication

IStock_000000696967SmallBrian Arthur’s quote is a classic and I like the metaphor of sensemaking as mapping the terrain. I would add one twist which was introduced to me by Stuart Kauffman, the idea that the terrain is made of rubber and every step you and everyone else takes deforms the terrain in new ways. Sensemaking is therefore an ongoing process.

About  Shawn Callahan

Shawn, author of Putting Stories to Work, is one of the world's leading business storytelling consultants. He helps executive teams find and tell the story of their strategy. When he is not working on strategy communication, Shawn is helping leaders find and tell business stories to engage, to influence and to inspire. Shawn works with Global 1000 companies including Shell, IBM, SAP, Bayer, Microsoft & Danone. Connect with Shawn on:


  1. Denham says:

    Your observation reminds me of the ‘knowledge landscape’ metaphor, in particular where the landscape is heaving – “Wobblity” – like keeping balance on a waterbed.

Comments are closed.